Pictured: A look inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena on the campus of the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa. Image courtesy of Hawk Central.
Tom Brands and the Iowa Hawkeyes wrestling program continue to see dividends from its massive wrestling recruiting weekend in Iowa City, where attendees saw the Hawks down the Nittany Lions on the football field at Kinnick Stadium.
In addition to the trio of standout in-state prospects in junior Nate Jesuroga (Southeast Polk), senior Aiden Riggins Waverly Shell-Rock), and senior Mickey Griffith Des Moines Lincoln), all of whom committed by the end of the weekend, another four high school stars from the Hawkeye State have given verbal commitments to the Black and Gold this week.
Iowa Wrestling Lands Trio of In-State Recruits After Busy Weekend in Iowa City ⬇️https://t.co/yWXwHnhe7G— TheOpenMat (@theopenmat) October 11, 2021
The latest recruits include Southeast Polk senior siblings Carter and Carson Martinson, plus fellow seniors Jace Rhodes (Mason City), and Easton Fleshman (West Lyon).
And, let’s not forget probably the biggest commitment of them all (literally) from last month, Iowa City High’s own Ben Kueter, a junior from the Class of 2023, who will wrestle and play football while at the University of Iowa.
Carter is a two-time state medalist, with both a fifth-place and a third-place finish at the state tournament to his credit. He has just shy of 100 career victories. He has competed at 145 pounds and 152 pounds at Polk and projects at 157/165 in Division I.
Carson, also a two-time state medalist, finished third in 2020 and fourth in 2021, wrestling at 138 on both occasions. Carson, too, will eclipse the 100-win mark in his senior season.
Elsewhere, Jace Rhodes, a three-time state medalist in as many attempts, decided to make a verbal of his own.
And another: Mason City’s Jace Rhodes also commits to Iowa. Three-time state medalist in Class 3A and a Junior freestyle state champ last spring.— Cody Goodwin (@codygoodwin) October 12, 2021
That’s seven commits in four days for the Hawkeyes, and their 2022 class now stands at six, all from #iahswr. pic.twitter.com/WGoDNjIteD
Rhodes announced his intentions via Instagram.
“After a lot of thought, I am very proud to announce my commitment to the University of Iowa! Big thanks to my parents, as well as all of my coaches and teammates, who have gotten me to this point. I couldn’t be more excited to continue my academic and athletic career as a Hawkeye! Go Hawks!🐤”
Lastly, Fleshman, who is currently a 220-pounder with room to grow, has a Class-2A state medal and a Junior freestyle state crown to his name, among other accolades.
“I’m super excited to officially announce that I am committed to the University of Iowa to continue my academic and wrestling career.
I want to thank my parents for everything they have done for me to get me to this point. I also want to thank my coaches for believing in me and pushing me. And lastly, I want to thank God for giving me this opportunity. Let’s GO HAWKS🐤,” Fleshman posted to Instagram.
With the mass exit of the current Hawkeye starting lineup coming after the 2021-22 season concludes in Detroit, it’s clear that the Hawkeye starting lineup, which only has one Iowan in the starting lineup, with have a much more “homegrown” feel to it moving forward.
Thus far, Brands and company have commitments from eight Iowans across the Class of 2022 and Class of 2023 combined. Plus, in the Class of 2021, the Hawks kept Drake Ayala and Caleb Rathjen in their home state.
It certainly seems the “Pennsylvania Hawkeyes” will transition back to the “Iowa Hawkeyes” in the coming seasons.